Conservative Realism: New Essays in Conservatism

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9780002557696: Conservative Realism: New Essays in Conservatism

Twentieth-century politics has been dominated by "big ideas" - communism, fascism, central planning, many kinds of collectivism . These big ideas have tended to clash with the realities of human nature and have often led to death, poverty and misery in varying proportions. This volume of essays seeks to place realism at the core of the conservative agenda. The present disarray in conservative circles suggests that a redefinition of conservatism is timely, and each essay studies key areas of philosophy and policy with the notion of conservative realism to the fore. All the contributors are leading political thinkers and commentators with international reputations. John O'Sullivan looks at the question of British cultural identity, whilst Noel Malcom reveals the highly complex nature of the relationship between European Christian democracy and conservatism. Irving Kristol points to the differences between American and European conservatism, arguing that it is religion which undergirds American conservatism. Richard Griffiths examines Europe and the question of conservative identity. Turning to economics, Ray Evans argues that a constitutive illusion of radical politics is that the economy can lead to monetary recklessness, whilst David Willetts demonstrates that markets on the one hand, and civil society or community on the other, have a long history of intertwining and mutual stimulation, and shows that the division between the selfish egoism of the market and the benign altruism of community has been left for dead.

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